Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Who's Worse, Herr Trumpf or Cruz?


Late Sunday night, Nebraska freshman Senator Ben Sasse, got into a Trumpf twitter tantrum starting here. It started out nicely enough, Sasse acknowledging that Herr had "struck a chord" with the American people and saying he'd bet Trumpf will be the next president. But... "we have questions about how you would govern. Would like to ask you some questions, if you are willing?" And they came fast and furious:
Does he still support single-payer and if not when did he change and why.
Do you still "hate the concept of guns" and what does the 2nd Amendment mean to you?
Does he still agree with a $6 trillion tax hike he proposed and with the proposition that "higher taxes = more patriotism?"

Is executive unilateralism bad-- in light of how much Herr talks about "running the country?" And will he "commit to rolling back executive power and undoing Obama's unilateral habit?"
Then Sasse started tweeting about his concerns with Herr's authoritarian tendencies and how America "doesn't need a strongman." An hour in and he was giving Herr a civics lesson on how "the whole point of America is that THE PEOPLE are bigger than the government and how that's what makes us historically exceptional. Soon after, former Governor Rick Perry, who Herr Trumpf had banished from the campaign, endorsed Cruz. Her spokesperson, Amanda Carpenter, tweeted "The 'people hate Cruz' whining is so ridiculous. Right now it's Cruz or a tyrant, people. Get over the fact he didn't kiss your ring. Sigh."

Picking up where we left off late last night, so who exactly does the Republican Establishment hate more-- Herr Trumpf or Ted Cruz? It's a no-brainer for members of the Senate; up close and personal with Cruz, they all wish he'd fall off a cliff, a literal one. But what about non-senators? Some are even more worried about Trumpf and the authoritarian tendencies that Ben Sasse seemed concerned about. For many party aparachiks, what's most important is which nominee will be worse for down-ticket races. The GOP is probably going to lose the Senate anyway, but would Trumpf (or Cruz) make the loss deeper and make it more difficult for the GOP to regain control in 2018? How many House seats will go down the tubes? Legislative seats? Town clerks? How harsh is Trumpf on the Republican brand in moderate suburbs, where Trumpf's open embrace of white supremacists doesn't go over as well as it does in certain precincts of Mississippi and Alabama? Still, there are plenty of establishment Republicans who feel Cruz is even worse; Peter King and Rudy Giuliani know Trumpf personally and they vouch for him. People who have had to deal with Cruz all seem to detest him but Bob Dole and Trent Lott never served in the Senate with Cruz and they both see him as catastrophic to the Republican cause.

There are lifelong Republicans out there already saying they won't vote for Trumpf even if he is the nominee. Doug Heye was the communications director of the RNC and has been a dedicated GOP operative but he wrote a scathing OpEd about why he'd never support Herr, whose candidacy, he asserted, "exists solely to exploit the genuine anxiety voters feel, without offering credible solutions to the problems that have made so many angry, instead appealing only to our worst instincts."
Because of Trump’s perversion of conservatism, along with the devastating impact he would have if nominated, I cannot support Donald Trump were he to win the Republican nomination.

As the GOP battles over what-- or who-- defines conservatism, it should be easy to define what doesn’t: angry populism, cheap sloganeering and bombast.

Credit Trump for this: when confronted with tough questions or bad poll numbers, he knows what to do: cynically create yet another outrage du jour taking the media’s focus away from Trump’s lack of knowledge or substance on the challenges facing America onto much more comfortable ground, the six-month running Mad Libs of calculated shocking comments-- attacking minorities, a candidate’s face, a reporter’s disability or even bathroom breaks. As every Trump interview shows, the Emperor not only does not have any clothes; he does not have any answers.

And while shocked, entertained or both, we all may be, with actual voting set to occur, it is time to state the obvious:

A supporter and donor to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a candidate who has called for single payer universal healthcare, and flippantly confuses their position on abortion is no conservative and has no business being the stalwart of the Republican Party. Nominating him could cause an existential danger for the party.

Similarly, a candidate whose rhetoric has rightfully drawn comparison to extremist candidates in foreign countries, including Marine Le Pen in France, and earned criticism from our staunchest allies, while gaining praise from worldwide menace Vladimir Putin, and who cannot name military advisors other than those he watches on television, is dangerous to the United States and the world at a time when the world is at risk.

Donald Trump as the Republican nominee would be catastrophic for Republican hopes to win the White House and maintain control of the Senate and would damage the party and the conservative cause for years to come. His having the legitimacy that comes with the nomination of a major political party would cause greater instability throughout the world at a time when the world looks to America for leadership that is serious and sober.

As a longtime conservative Republican campaign and Congressional aide, and former official of the Republican National Committee, not voting for the Republican nominee is an unimaginable scenario. But for the sake of my party and indeed, my country, while I will certainly vote for some Republican in November, if Trump is the nominee, I cannot vote for my party’s nominee.

Cynics like to say America gets the politicians it deserves. If Republicans nominate Trump, that cliché may actually be true.

As a loyal and proud conservative Republican, I cannot help make that happen by voting for a Trump-led ticket in 2016.
Others feel that Trumpf can be "managed" and dealt with rationally, the argument conservative German industrialists made when they acquiesced to the rise of Hitler in the 1930s. They were proven very wrong.

Most establishment types seem to agree with Lindsey Graham's assessment: picking between them is like picking between "death by being shot or poisoning."

In yesterday's NY Times, former Obama strategist David Axelrod opined that "Trump has found an audience with Americans disgruntled by the rapid, disorderly change they associate with national decline and their own uncertain prospects. Policies be damned, who better to set things right than the defiant strong man who promises by sheer force of will to make America great again? ... The robust condemnations Mr. Trump has received from media and political elites have only intensified the enthusiasm of his supporters, many of whom feel disdained and forgotten by the very same people who regularly mock and chide their man for his boorishness. To his base, he’s a truth-teller, thumbing his nose at conventional politicians, whether they are liberal or conservative. Rebukes from fact checkers and purveyors of civil discourse? They’re just so much establishment claptrap."

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At 6:26 AM, Blogger Daro said...

In watching Trump I see a character facet common enough in some wealthy people. They don't really have any friends and in fact feel nervous about making any real association with anybody. So they just steamroller along, burning people before moving on to the next obliging person using up the initial goodwill.

Trump just did this with Cruz. Dropped him feet first into the plastic shredder. It's not ruthlessness that makes them do it, it's panic. They burn people before they themselves get burnt (as they see it). Like the conman who believes everyone else is either a sap or in it for themselves, they project their own attitude onto everyone else and use it as a rationale for their actions.

Now it's dangerous to say "that's what rich people do" because the flip side is the "poor people are poor because.." bromide and so one runs the risk of classifying people which is just a short goosestep away from sophisticated racism but I consider the condition of extreme wealth to be self-imposed and therefore more identifiable with mindset whereas poverty is largely a condition imposed from without as well as from attitudes within.

Anyway, that ends this edition of Women's Weekly Psycho Analysis of Donald J. Trump.


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